Saturday 23 December 2023

John Hinchcliff of Long Acre near St Martin's Lane - Mid/Late 18th Century.


John Hinchcliff, Stone Mason / Builder/ Chimneypiece Carver.

Long Acre near St Martin's Lane.

See Biographical Dictionary Sculptors in Britain pub. Yale 2009.

Son of William Hinchcliff a barber of St Georges Parish, Bloomsbury.

Apprenticed Lewis Cockram citizen and mason in 1745. turned over to Richard Buddle in 1751 gained his freedom in 26 June 1755.

Exhibited at the Society of Artists 1768 & 1772 - inlaid tables.

The stonemason and sculptor John Hinchcliffe (d.1796) was apprenticed to the mason Lewis Cockram in 1748. He was turned over to Richard Buddle in 1751, and gained his freedom in 1755. 

In 1768, he promoted at the Society of Artists ‘a specimen of a new manner of ornamenting chimneypieces, tables, etc., with scagliola inlaid with marble’. He utilised this decorative technique when collaborating with partners Bartoli and Richter, experts in scagliola production. 

The trade card of 1774 advertises ‘Monuments, Chimney-pieces and Masonry in general by John Hinchcliffe in Long Acre near St Martin’s Lane London’. 

Hinchcliffe also worked as a contractor, building houses in Tottenham Court Road in 1777 with his son. He built further houses in Gower Street and Devonshire Place in 1785 and 1793. 

In 1790, Hinchcliffe senior became upper warden of the Masons’ Company, and a master in 1791. He died at King’s Place Farm near Epping Forest in 1796. 

Some confusion has arisen from the number of Johns in the family with a background in stonemasonry; John Hinchcliffe II was apprenticed to his father in 1774, and his son John Hinchcliffe III was apprenticed to him in 1791. The sculptor John Ely Hinchcliffe, who worked as an assistant to John Flaxman, was probably a family member.


Adam commissions: Hinchcliffe executed chimneypieces for No. 20 St James’s Square at a cost of £360 10s. One chimneypiece featured ‘basalt’ tablets supplied by Josiah Wedgwood

Trade Card of John Hinchcliff. c 1770's.

engraved by W. Darling of Great Newport Street.

The Hinchcliff(e) Family.

John Hinchliffe Junior (the name also occurs without the final -e) belonged to a large family of statuaries and masons. He was apprenticed to his father in 1774 (suggesting he was born around 1759/60) and the last certain record of him is around 1804, though one ‘John Hinchcliff’ was responsible for a monument at Great Holland, Essex which is dated 1821.  

That would be chronologically possible, though it could equally be the work of J E Hinchcliffe (see immediately below).

Memorial: Tillington


J E Hinchcliffe.

John Ely Hinchliffe (also found without the final -e) (1777-1867) probably belonged to the large family of masons of that name (see John Hinchliffe, immediately above for another known member) and was the assistant of J Flaxman from 1805 until Flaxman’s death in 1826.  He completed the works Flaxman left unfinished, by which time he was already known for works in the style of his master.  On his own account, he produced little work after the early 1840s.

Memorials: Udimore; Washington

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